Peer learning leaders: developing employability through facilitating the learning of other students

Neil Ford, Charlotte Thackeray, Paul Barnes, Katharina Hendrickx


Employability is a key theme in higher education and attitudes towards its development have shifted from a focus on technical skills development to a broader focus on values, intellect, social engagement and performance contributing to graduate identity (Hager and Hodkinson, 2009). Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) and Language Conversation Clubs are both examples of student-led peer learning schemes at Bournemouth University (BU), and are reviewed to explore the development of students employed to lead and facilitate group learning sessions. Data from four annual evaluation surveys (n=239) is reviewed in addition to qualitative comments and reflective writing. Peer leaders were found to have developed employability attributes including: leadership, time management and organisation, communication, and cultural awareness. Above all, peer leaders identified with developing confidence in their roles. Comments provided examples of student leaders who had actively selected peer learning as an opportunity to develop their confidence and were able to transfer this to other academic and employment contexts.


Peer Assisted Learning; PAL; employability; graduate attributes; graduate identity; confidence.

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ISSN: 1759-667X